Just when it was getting to the good stuff, Nonito Donaire's bout with champion Simpiwe Vetyeka came to an abrupt halt this morning (May 31, 2014) in Macau. After suffering a cut in the first-round due to a headbutt, the referee deemed Donaire unable to continue after the fourth round, resulting in a technical decision win for the "Filipino Flash."
The favored Donaire had some trouble with Vetyeka early on, as the South African used an effective jab to keep Donaire's killer hooks at bay. Right at the end of the first round, the two collided their domes at close range, resulting in an ugly cut over Donaire's left eye.
Vetyeka continued to find success at long range as the eye worsened, but warning signs cropped up in the third round when Donaire cracked him with a right hand that forced Vetyeka to hold himself up with the ropes. He finally pressed his luck too far in the fourth as he forced Donaire to the ropes. While landing a series of respectable shots, Vetyeka ate Donaire's vaunted left hook and tumbled to the canvas. Despite Donaire firing with reckless abandon with hooks that sounded like baseball swings, the South African managed to survive the round.
Unfortunately for him, referee Luis Pabon decided that Donaire's cut had worsened to the point where he could no longer continue, taking the fight to the judges. Donaire took the victory on three scores of 39-36.
It was a solid, if disappointing win for Donaire. It remains to be seen whether he really is the absolute monster he was made out to be; a good choice for a future opponent would be Nicholas Walters, who utterly decimated Vic Darchinyan in the co-main event.
For round-by-round coverage of the fight, click here.